Notes by Scott Bullock

Rick Torbett
The Read & React Offense
Notes by Scott Bullock

Contents
Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................4
What It’s Not...................................................................................................................................................4
What It Is.........................................................................................................................................................4
What It Can Be ................................................................................................................................................4
Goals of the Read and React...........................................................................................................................4
Secrets of the Read and React ........................................................................................................................4
Is the Read and React Another Motion Offense? ...........................................................................................4
Flexibility / Adaptability ..................................................................................................................................5
Definition of Read and React Habits...............................................................................................................5
Keys to Read and React .................................................................................................................................. 5
Youth Coaches ................................................................................................................................................5
Teaching the Offense..........................................................................................................................................6
Layer by Layer .................................................................................................................................................6
Read and React ...............................................................................................................................................6
Level A – Laying the Foundation .....................................................................................................................6
Layer 1 - Dribble Penetration & Circle Movement .....................................................................................6
Layer 2 – Dribble Penetration & Baseline Drive .........................................................................................6
Layer 3 – Pass and Cut : Scoring and Spacing .............................................................................................6
Layer 4 – Post Reactions to Dribble Penetration ........................................................................................7
Layer 5 – The Speed Dribble .......................................................................................................................7
Level B - Completing the Foundation .............................................................................................................8
Layer 6 - The Power Dribble .......................................................................................................................8
Layer 7 – Circle Reverse ..............................................................................................................................8
Layer 8 – Back Screens................................................................................................................................8
Layer 9 – Multiple Staggered Screens ........................................................................................................8
Level C – Post Play ..........................................................................................................................................9
Layer 10 – Advanced Post Reactions ..........................................................................................................9
Layer 11 – Post Blocking .............................................................................................................................9
Layer 12 – Post Passing ...............................................................................................................................9
Layer 13 – 3 out 2 in Dribble Penetration ................................................................................................10
Level D – Icing on The Cake ..........................................................................................................................10
Level 14 – Counter Helping Defense – Pin & Skip ....................................................................................10
Level 15 – Attacking Zone Defenses .........................................................................................................10
Level 16 – Seamless Transition – Fast Break to Half Court Offense .........................................................10
Level 17 – The Ultimate – Flowing Naturally from Set to Set...................................................................11

............12 Safety Valve .................................................................................................................................................... 14 Elbow Slide.............................................................................................................................................. 13 Pitch or Dish (Wing) .........................................................................................................................................12 Middle Drive & Dish................................................12 Corner to Corner ....... 16 Laker-Cut Low ..............................14 Short Corner Slide .........................................13 Rear Cut ......................................................................................................14 Fill Rear Cut .........................................................................................................................16 Post Rear Cut ...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................14 Layer 4 – Post Reactions ...........................................................................................................................................................................14 Rear Cut .....................................................12 Introduction ...............................................................................................................................................................................Notes by Scott Bullock Conclusion ...........................................................................................................16 Circle Safety Valve ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Natural Pitch Safety Value ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 Layer 8 – Back Screens...........................................................................................................................................................................................12 Natural Pitch ........................ 16 Layer 12 – Post Passing ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. & Back Screen.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Cut.........................................................13 Corner to 90 Degree .............................16 Layer 10 – Advanced Post Reactions ............................................12 Read Drive: Circle Movement ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 Layer 9 – Staggered Screens ....................................................................................12 Layer 1 – Dribble Penetration & Circle Movement ...........................................................................................................................13 Front Cut .....................................................................................................................................................................................13 Layer 3 – Scoring and Spacing .................................................................................................................................13 Pitch or Dish (Top) ........13 Front Cut ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 Layer 7 – Circle Reverse ........ 16 Relocate Corner ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................12 Wing Drive & Dish...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Backdoor Cut ..... 15 Pass...................................... 15 Circle Reverse ........................................................ 14 Layer 5 – Speed Dribble .......................................................................................................................................................13 Corner To Corner ..........................11 Drills to Build Habits .......................................................... 16 Laker-Cut High ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................13 Fill Rear Cut .....................................................................................................................................................................................................15 Dribble Handoff – Pick & Roll ......................................... 14 Layer 6 – Power Dribble..................................................................13 Layer 2 – Baseline Adjustment .............13 Corner to 45 Degree ............................. 16 ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

.......................18 4 Out 1 In ................Notes by Scott Bullock X Cut...........................................................................................................................................................18 Taking Our Game to a Higher Level ..17 Pin Screen & Skip ..................................................................................................................................................19 Untraditional Practice Plans .................................18 Through the Players Eyes................................................................................................................................................................19 ............................................................................................................................................18 3 Out 2 In ..................18 5 Out ............................................................................18 Shot Selection and Turnover Control ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 17 Strategies and Ideas ...........16 Layer 14 – Pin Screen and Skip Pass ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................18 Ideas and Strategies to Fit your Team .............................................................................................................................................................................

Goals of the Read and React 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) Easily taught and transferred from coach to coach or coach to player Simple enough to master with repetition Built on habits and not high IQ Provide freedom and excitement for players. What It Can Be It can be your entire man to man and zone offense.Notes by Scott Bullock Introduction Coach Torbett states that this is not an offense he has used to win championships but rather an offense that he has developed after retiring from coaching. It ties the 2 man reads into a seamless five man offense. It has freedom but requires disciplined habits. It can also be a system of development taught in layers. It is a principled framework out of which players can play. What It Is Ultimately the Read & React is offense. Is the Read and React Another Motion Offense? The Read and React is not another motion offense. It can be the principled foundation of your offense. Motion offenses tend to provide complete freedom and endless choices to players. What It’s Not The Read & React is not suited for a specific type of player. Encourage attacking skills The system would build 5 man coordination Simple enough for kids but contain potential for as much complexity for highest levels Two edged sword : the better the fundamentals the better the execution and vice versa. It is an offense that he has tested out in camps and shared with coaching colleagues. In reality it is really not a set offense. Getting in a high amount of repetition with these drills is the key to being successful with this offense. . The read and react has specific reactions for specific reads. It is not a collection of set plays. It is a system of 2 man reads and reactions that can be drilled into habit. Secrets of the Read and React The real secret to the read and react is the build-up drills contained on the third DVD. It is a developmental framework that can help build skills a piece or layer at a time.

You don’t need the entire 17 layers to be successful at the youth level. It is completely flexible depending on the types of players that are in your system. The first 5 levels are sufficient to the success of a youth team. This makes it the perfect offense for youth teams. There is a difference between understanding something and being able to react to something. It can be used with quick penetrating teams or teams with more deliberate style of play. Be patient in teaching these habits. or 3-out 2-in set. Definition of Read and React Habits This is a game played by instinct not like chess where you have to think about each move and weigh all the different options. The players without the ball are not just free to react as in a motion offense. The ball handler is clearly the initiator and the rest of the players are reactors. Sometimes less is more. The habits taught build on each other. Master each layer of habits before moving on. It can be used with no post players or very skilled post players. Youth Coaches Traditional Offenses have one thing in common. It can be use with a 5-out. This is actually true for all coaches at all levels. The less they think the quicker they move and react. The read and react is system of habits taught through drill and repetition. 4-out 1-in. The key here is reaction and not just understanding. .Notes by Scott Bullock Flexibility / Adaptability If this offense was not named the Read and React offense he could call it the Adjustable offense. They have a single trained response for each specific action of the ball handler. It can be used with screens or no screens. You don’t need to teach all layers of this offense to be effective. Keys to Read and React The Read and React offense is keyed off of what the ball handler does. Master of the whole is necessary in order to be useful. This is not true of the Read and React offense. The less the players have to think the better.

He does it for simplicity. They must fill the 45 degree pitch option. You want the read and react habits to be so automatic that players can focus all their energy on their defender and reading the defense. Read and React Each layer is made up of two-player read and react habits. He must stay and fill the opposite corner. the 90 degree pitch option. the player filling behind Dish to the baseline cutter Layer 2 – Dribble Penetration & Baseline Drive On a baseline drive. The other half is the 5 player teaching layers. If players are constantly stopping and asking what to do then you are moving through the layers too fast. Level A – Laying the Foundation He teaches these layers in a 5-out set but that does not mean they have to be run in a 5-out set. One half is made up of the 2-player read and react habits. The remaining players on the perimeters have only minor adjustments. You can’t add the next layer until the previous layer is mastered. Every cut . Layer 3 – Pass and Cut : Scoring and Spacing Every time you pass the ball to one player away you must always cut to the basket. Each layer is taught with drills to reinforce these habits. and the safety valve pitch option. There are 17 total.Dribble Penetration & Circle Movement The first layer teaches the reaction of perimeter players when dribble penetration occurs.Notes by Scott Bullock Teaching the Offense Layer by Layer The offense is built in layers. the opposite corner must not circle up like the rest of the perimeter players. This leaves the penetrating player with the following options: 1) 2) 3) 4) Take the ball all the way to the basket Natural Pitch to adjacent player on the perimeter Kick back to the safety value. Even if the opposite corner is empty it must be filled with the closest player on that side of the floor on a baseline drive. This is referred to as the baseline adjustment. Drill them until they hate the drill and they are rolling their eyes at you. Every pass must be turned into a scoring threat with a basket cut. Every cut creates good things for your teammates. Don’t go to the next layer until the players are bored with the layer that they are on. Layer 1 . Look at the offense as two halves making up the whole. They circle in the direction of the penetration. All players on the perimeter circle right or left depending on the direction of penetration. The opposite corner is the only real adjustment we make on a baseline drive. It is the natural pitch window for the baseline penetrator.

2) When filling an open spot the player without the ball must view this movement as a great scoring opportunity. There are three east west dribbles used for pressure relievers. This will leave the basket cutter with an open spot to fill. 2) Post Slide #2 – When the ball enters the lane from the baseline or below the post player then the post slides up to the free throw line elbow area. This does not apply to skip passes. As soon as your defender steps on or over the Read-line then Rear Cut. The reactions are the same no matter if the post is playing ball side or weak side. These two are more complicated so we cover the speed dribble first. Two Basic Rules for this layer: 1) When you pass the ball to a teammate one spot away you must basket-cut. Three Scoring Opportunities: 1) Before a pass is made we must be sure the receiver is open. Don’t wait for a pass just cut. This is rule that the offense will never break. If your defender is over the 19 foot arc you must basket-cut. 1) Post Slide #1 – When the ball enters the lane above the post player he slides to the short corner area opening up the lane area. Passer can score on a Rear Cut or Front Cut. Layer 5 – The Speed Dribble The speed dribble is an east west dribble. Front cut and Rear Cut must be drilled to point of reaction. If defender jumps in denial position then rear cut straight to the basket. Back door bounce pass can be made right off the dribble. The 19 foot arc is your Read-Line.Notes by Scott Bullock takes one of the immediate help defenders away from the ball. Whenever the ball handler dribbles at another player on the perimeter that signals for that player to rear cut or back cut to the basket. 2) Open spots are filled from the baseline up as quickly as possible. You create separation from the defender and prepare to receive bounce pass. The other two are power dribble and circle reverse. 3) When the pass is finally made scoring opportunity #3 presents itself. If the defender does not jump to the ball then front cut him. The speed dribble does three things to open up scoring opportunities : 1) It gets the entire team moving 2) It can create an immediate post matchup by sending a player down to the block 3) It also creates a great opportunity for a scoring option for the person filling the vacated spot. . In addition the cut allows your teammates to fill spots and open up new scoring opportunities. Layer 4 – Post Reactions to Dribble Penetration There are two different post reactions to dribble penetration.

If the teammate mistakes it for a speed dribble then the ball handler can continue on to next teammate. It’s something that you recognize and then take advantage of the situation. It can lead to a 3 point shot for the screener. The power dribble must be so obvious that your teammate does not mistake it for a speed dribble. The nice thing about a 4 out 1 in is that you always have a second screener down there for the double staggered. It’s also a safe way for post players to signal a pick and roll on the perimeter. As dribble penetrations is shut down they must reverse the circle giving the ball handler additional options. A power dribble is signaled by turning your back to your defender and dribble at a teammate.Completing the Foundation Layer 6 . The 2 player read and react habit here is after a pass and basket cut you always fill out with a back screen. It’s a pressure reliever. The basket cutter instead of turning around to keep the lane clear for the cutter off the back screen continues on and just sets a staggered screen. Setting a back screen is not entirely an unselfish act though. He doesn’t care if the defense hears. These multiple staggered screens are not intentional but something that happens when you are setting one back screen and another perimeter player has started a basket cut.Notes by Scott Bullock Level B . Don’t hog the lane. You should be yelling back screen before setting it. Back screens are also helpful if a player basket cuts and empties out to the wrong side where no empty slots exist. Layer 9 – Multiple Staggered Screens This is an interesting layer. Layer 7 – Circle Reverse Circle reverse refers to the action that takes place when dribble penetration is shut down. He emphasizes calling players name and yelling back screen as you set the screen. As dribble penetration begins. the perimeter players begin to circle. His philosophy is now you’ve had your chance to score give a teammate a chance to score. . He likes to require a back screen after every basket cut. You have to get his attention. The cutter cannot use the screen until he hears your feet hit the ground. Layer 8 – Back Screens Back screens are hard to defend and an important ingredient of a successful offense.The Power Dribble The power-dribble signals a dribble handoff and then pick-and-roll. Instead of turning around and vacating just set a back screen to vacate one of the spots. Timing is critical. You set the back screen by getting both feet in the air and landing on both.

If the post defender follows you to short corner then you rear cut toward the basket. As you are filling spots if your defender steps across the read-line you must basket cut.Notes by Scott Bullock Level C – Post Play Layer 10 – Advanced Post Reactions He reviews the post reactions discussed in layer four in regard to post reactions to dribble penetration. It is deceiving misdirection. In a 4 out 1 in you have the corners empty so wings can drive baseline without getting defensive help from that side. He does this first to emphasize their strong hand and also to keep one side open for penetrating lay-ups. If the post is being defended on the high side then the wing can drive baseline and vice versa. 2) Laker-Cut High – basket cut that must go above the ball side elbow 3) Relocate – if your defender doubles down to the post then relocate to the corner and prepare for the pass. The post player can be constantly setting back screens for the cutters. As one player cuts the others must fill spots on the perimeter. 1) Post Slide #1 – When the ball enters the lane above the post player he slides to the short corner. Layer 11 – Post Blocking He talks about post blocking in regard to a 4 out 1 in offense. and opening up the lane area. Layer 12 – Post Passing When you feed the post make one of these cuts… 1) Laker-Cut Low – basket cut that must go below the low block along the baseline. You create separation from the defender and prepare to receive bounce pass. He will often teach these basket cuts as part of the first couple layers that say you must cut every time you pass. Spacing is important so post defender can’t guard post player and cutter at the same time. getting out of the way. He talks about picking a side of the floor perhaps for the post player to stay on most of the time. These reactions are essential so that dribble penetration can occur from the perimeter without the posts clogging the lane. He talks about the wing reading the post in order to decide which way to drive. 4) X-Cut – Wing sets screen for guard above you and then cuts to the basket. 2) Post Slide #2 – When the ball enters the lane from the baseline or below the post player then the post slides up to the free throw line elbow area. . He adds a few twists to each of these slides.

then a few extra passes on the perimeter should find the open player. Note: As long as you don’t turn the ball over there is no way to mess things up. The pin screen is set on the player closes to the ball with the most distance to recover. In short he wants to take the same habits and make minor adjustments for zone defenses. The PIN screen should yell PIN to alert his teammates to what is happening. 4) Safety Valve Advantage – The Safety valve is almost always open on dribble penetration. He feels that most man defenses are not necessarily true man to man defenses. the two elbows. He talks about the pass receiver getting the ball handlers attention by doing the PE class jumping jack. All zones are ready made for the pin and skip. 5) Pin and Skip – He believes the pin and skip might be the best single weapon against a zone. 3) Penetrate & Pitch (even more) – Complete penetration to the basket against zones is usually difficult but it is easy to attract two defenders and pitch to an open teammate. 1) Pass and Seam Cut – instead of basket cutting. and the safety valve. Layer 13 – 3 out 2 in Dribble Penetration Level D – Icing on The Cake Level 14 – Counter Helping Defense – Pin & Skip This layer could be taught much earlier if needed. You can start in a 4 out and transition to a 3 out with this same action. He also talks about this as a natural way to transition from 5 out to 4 out 1 in. He drills this by having 5 . If the ball ever enters this spot it’s a lot like a baseline drive. Once the skip pass is made you can shoot or feed the pinner who has now sealed in the post. Level 15 – Attacking Zone Defenses He wants to build off the same read and react habits we have discussed to attack zones. With help side defense most man defenses turn into some kind of zone defense. If you feed the post from one of the top slots you still must basket-cut.Notes by Scott Bullock These rules for feeding the post apply to any position on the floor. Someone needs to occupy the opposite baseline corner.Cutters can stop in these spots. you cut through a seam and out the other side 2) Add Short Corner as Spots . All the same things that happen with a baseline drive should happen here. This layer teaches a pin screen on the weak side of the floor to counter help in the lane. There are no habits or skills previously taught that are necessary for this layer. Level 16 – Seamless Transition – Fast Break to Half Court Offense Goal with seamless transition is to never give the defense a chance to regroup. If the defense adjusts to cover this. It’s also great for creating an immediate post up opportunity for the post player.

When a team can flow from one set to the next naturally depending on the defense. . Level 17 – The Ultimate – Flowing Naturally from Set to Set He believes the hardest teams to defend would be teams that can flow from 5 out to 4 out to 3 out in a single possession. He lets any of the players get the rebound. He calls this the secondary break. He feels it’s extremely important for the wings to change sides of the floor in transition taking their defenders with them. The rebounder then pushes the ball up the court while the others fill lanes. Full Court Trips – Drill with a set number of trips. The ball handler pretends the fast break fails and stops at any of the perimeter positions. The wings can them optionally set back screens for the two trailers coming down depending on the speed of the trailers. They break back off missed shots and take it out of bounds on made shots. Each trip is run with some specific type of offensive action.Notes by Scott Bullock players circle under the hoop while he puts up a shot. Conclusion The strength and beauty of this offense is not in any one layer but lies in the combination of these layers. When the wings hit the arc they make basket cuts and continue on to other side of the floor. this is a sign that your team truly understands the read and react offense.

You can actually also incorporate lots of fundamental skills (i.Notes by Scott Bullock Drills to Build Habits Introduction Secret to this offense lies in the drills that teach the read and react habits. passing and shooting) into these read and react drills. 3. If you see your players thinking on the floor then you know they are not yet habits. Direction of penetration is the key. . You can run these drills with 2. 3 Player Drills Combination of Natural Pitch and Safety Valve Drills. They need to be drilled more. The more repetitions the quicker the reactions turn into habits. or 4 plays and get high amounts of repetitions.e. Layer 1 – Dribble Penetration & Circle Movement Natural Pitch Middle Drive & Dish Wing Drive & Dish Safety Valve Read Drive: Circle Movement Corner to Corner Requires a reverse pivot and pitch by ball handler. You will be frustrated if you try and teach this offense without drilling the habits through these drills.

Notes by Scott Bullock Natural Pitch Safety Value Pitch or Dish (Top) Pitch or Dish (Wing) Corner to 90 Degree Corner to 45 Degree Rear Cut Fill Rear Cut Safety Valve Pass requires jump stop and reverse pivot. Layer 2 – Baseline Adjustment Corner To Corner Layer 3 – Scoring and Spacing Front Cut .

Layer 5 – Speed Dribble Backdoor Cut Important to do this on both sides Short Corner Slide Fill Rear Cut .Notes by Scott Bullock Front Cut Rear Cut Do these from all angles on floor Layer 4 – Post Reactions Elbow Slide Done with post player on strong and weak side.

Notes by Scott Bullock of the floor. Cut. Layer 6 – Power Dribble Dribble Handoff – Pick & Roll Layer 7 – Circle Reverse Circle Reverse Layer 8 – Back Screens Pass. & Back Screen .

Laker-Cut High Relocate Corner .Notes by Scott Bullock Layer 9 – Staggered Screens Layer 10 – Advanced Post Reactions Post Rear Cut Circle Safety Valve Add Circle Safety Valve Layer 12 – Post Passing Laker-Cut Low X Cut X is the coach in these drills.

Notes by Scott Bullock Layer 14 – Pin Screen and Skip Pass Pin Screen & Skip .

4 Out Ball Side Triangle – 5 Out Gut Drive Adjustment – weak side corner player will basket cut before starting his circle movement.Notes by Scott Bullock Strategies and Ideas Through the Players Eyes Benefits to Players 1) Develop and use your attack skills 2) No guesswork – watch the ball and react accordingly 3) No plays to learn – you will be learning moves that will help you in any system 4) More practice time to get better at game – Ideas and Strategies to Fit your Team 3 Out 2 In 4 Out 1 In Post in Short Corner – great formation for post who is not a great back to the basket player but good to receive drive and dumps.Knowing Your Role equals no turnovers. A lot like UCLA offense. . High Post that Ball screens – post player comes high and sets a ball screen after any pass to the wing and basket cut by one of the perimeter players up top. Delay Game – Shot Selection and Turnover Control 1) The Know No Rule . 2) The WWW rule – When and Where equals Wins. Post as Blocker – post player is used to constantly screen for cutters. Each player needs to know when and where to shoot. Each player should play to their strengths.

Notes by Scott Bullock Taking Our Game to a Higher Level Untraditional Practice Plans To really teach this offense you need to move away from your traditional practice plans. etc. Work on 3 point shooting through a back screen drill with the shooter shaping up. Teach layups with front cuts. rear cuts. . Practices need to be totally centered around read and react skills. Laker cuts. Game Warm Ups – Should be a review time of read and react skills. Do not make them a separate thing. It can’t be something you buy into half way. Fundamental Skill work – teach fundamentals using read and react drills.

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